One pesky little word is preventing Sarah Palin from paying off most of her very sizable legal bills: "Official." That word appearing on a website in front of "Donation Site for Sarah Palin's Legal Defense Fund" falsely implied that Palin endorsed the fund in her capacity as then Governor of Alaska, which is a big no-no. An investigator has ruled the the Sarah Palin Defense Fund was illegal.
The fund was set up by Palin's friends and supporters to help her fight numerous ethics violations complaints. It collected $390,000 in donations. And now it all has to go back.
A note on the website this morning, which no longer has that bad, bad word anywhere on it, says: "This site is no longer processing donations for Sarah Palin’s legal funds. However, you may make donations to encourage her to run in the upcoming elections at Sarah Palin's War Chest. Donations collected from Sarah's Defense Fund will be sent to the law firm that represents Sarah Palin. Thank you for your support."
Palin has said she racked up nearly $500,000 in lawyer bills defending herself against ethics complaints, including an investigation by state lawmakers over Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in the so-called Troopergate scandal, as well as a complaint over state-paid trips Palin took with her children as governor. In the family travel complaint, Palin agreed to reimburse the state about $8,000 for costs associated with nine trips taken by her children, reports The Huffington Post.
So did Palin knowingly use underhanded tactics to get her adoring public to help clean up her legal messes? The chief investigator of the case, State Personnel Board investigator Timothy Petumeno, says no.
His comments seem to blame her lawyers, whom she entrusted to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. Some people are mad about that and think Palin should shoulder more responsibility. She has agreed to pay back all of the $390,000 she owes. Other than that, there seems to be no other penalty.
Should Palin have received a harsher punishment?
Image via Sarah Palin/Facebook